No.9109, Lance Corporal, Percy Albert AGER
7th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Albert Percy AGER was born in Haverhill on 14th August 1894 (Risbridge Q3-1894 4A:678), baptised in St Mary's, Haverhill on 11th November
1896( with his brothers William and Charles), son of George William and Christianna AGER (née WALLIS or WALLACE). His mother's Christian names have been Chrissie, Christianna, Christina on various documents.|
His parents married in 1885, father a mat weaver at that time, living at 2a Peas Hill, Haverhill but then moving to 48 Eden Road, Haverhill
1901 census... Aged 6, he was at Eden Road, Haverhill with his father William AGER  cloth cutter; his mother Christianna  ( a jacket machinist; sister Annie Lucy  was a cloth baster; brothers William Herbert , Charles Rudolph  and Arthur ; widowed grandmother Harriet WALLIS . They were all born in Haverhill.
1911 census...Aged 16, a silk weaver at Vanner and Fennells, he was at 48 Eden Road with his widower father; sister Annie was now looking after the family; brothers William (domestic groom), Charles (mat maker in cocoa fibre) and Arthur (errand boy). His mother had died in 1905 and was buried in Haverhill cemetery on 30th November.
Sister Annie married Frank BIGMORE in 1912.
Always known as Percy, he was a good junior footballer, member of the team that won the Halstead Junior League in 1911-12 and the South Suffolk Junior Cup. later he occasionally played in the First team.
He enlisted in Haverhill, the first local recruit for Kitchener's New Army, in the newly formed 7th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment.
Promoted to Lance Corporal before the end of 1914, on 24th February they set off to march to Aldershot. Embarkation to join the
British Expeditionary Force came and they reached Boulogne on 30th May 1915. A tiring march in the heat and on pavé roads
eventually brought them to 12th Division concentration area at Nieppe. By July they were near Ploegsteert in the line,
alternating with the 9th Essex every six days
The war diary has the battalion at Ploegsteert and relieved and back to billets by 1 a.m . Working parties sent out.|
CWGC has three men killed, all buried in different places. Gunners Farm was heavily shelled around that time. He had been with the British Expeditionary Force less than 2 months.
His C.O. wrote to his father -
"Your son was a very good soldier; liked by all who knew him; I shall feel his loss keenly. He met his death whilst in a working party, death was practically instantaneous. I am attending his funeral this afternoon(Sun July 25th) at 3 pm.
His death was reported in the South West Suffolk Echo on 31st July and sadly his father died days later, and was buried with his mother on the 18th August. Percy is also commemorated on their headstone and on the Roll of Honour in the Old Independent Church, where he had been an active member
The "Personal Effects" file for Percy has as his legatees his three brothers and Frank Bigmore
Percy in the Rover Reserves in 1913 photo: Rodney Gibson
Percy in the Rover Reserves in 1913
photo: Rodney Gibson
also commemorated in the Old Independent /United Reform Church in Haverhill
also on his parents' grave with "L/Cpl Percy Albert Ager, 7th Bn. Suffolk Regt. K.I.A. 25.7.15. aged 20 years."
click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details